The Things I Want To Say But Can’t By Carla Christian

Thank you to the author and Love Books Tours for the copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

Let’s start with the blurb: Belle has a habit of losing things. Her friends. Her lovers. Her mind. Everything ends eventually, or at least that’s what life has taught her. But what if everything she lost came back again? What if she got a chance to finally have her say? To face her past. To put things right. Second chances aren’t easy when memories are all you have. So, when Belle invites the nightmares of her past back in, is she willing to deal with the consequences? Because maybe, just maybe, this time she’s getting what she deserves.

Before I go any further, I’m going to warn you that this book is dark. It deals with some truly harrowing subjects, including domestic violence, self harm, alcohol abuse and child abuse. With a list like that, you won’t be surprised that at times I found it very difficult to read.

That being said, they’re issues which society frequently turns away from and if it shocks even one person into taking action for themselves or a loved one, then the graphic scenes will have been worth it.

I had to remind myself a couple of times that this is a debut novel because the writing is so eloquent and mature; it feels as though the author has been writing novels all her life. I struggled at first with the changes in time frames between chapters and when I finished the book I actually re-read the first chapter again to make sure I’d understood it.

To say I enjoyed this book feels like the wrong description, as it was painful to read for a number of reasons; instead I’ll say that I appreciated the author’s skill in her craft, which meant I read this book in under 3 hours since I couldn’t put it down. I also admired her for writing with such realism about difficult issues. I’ll be hugging my children a little tighter when they return home from school today.

I’ll end my review with this: If you are experiencing any of the harm mentioned, or you believe someone you care about is experiencing them, please seek help. Thank you, Carla Christian, for opening my eyes through your courageous, haunting novel.

Rating: 4 out of 5.